“But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20).
This morning, I spoke with a friend about her church that is still meeting only via the internet livestream. As wonderful and helpful as technology can be, it is no replacement for seeing and hearing and touching a friend in person. That’s why Paul used such strong language in the technology of his day, a letter, to speak of his “intense longing” to see his friends.
There is a real problem with isolation. I continue to hear and read of instances of real people who are suffering from the negative effects of solitude.I know I’ve written about it a few times recently, but many of us continue to be isolated! Tomorrow I plan to meet with a friend who has only seen his own sons at a distance for five months. I spoke yesterday with a younger lady who was told by her parents she could not come home to see her ill father unless she agree to stay at a hotel! Many, many people are reacting in fear and I think the isolation is worse than the health risk.
Paul looked forward to seeing his friends again. In the verses above he mentioned how he made every effort to see them and still “Satan blocked our way.”
Are you feeling isolated today? What efforts are you willing to make to reach out to someone else?